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Craigslist overuse of the word Guru

WTF Craigslist?

overuse of the word guru

Overuse of the word guru

Why is it that whenever you look for a job on Craigslist, or a short HTML or PHP gig you see these same stupid posts about hiring a guru!? Why do people still use this word?

It is so overused and so lame to use that when a lot of actual people that may be considered a guru would actually just turn and run!

Who decided that this word had a special meaning to people related to web design, programming or coding of any kind? Who brought this upon us!! Maybe it was everyone’s fault – or maybe websites like this propagated the theory that people want to be called guru!

There’s even a freaking programming language named Guru! Please stop doing this!

The only thing worse than old, over-the-hill employers trying to find new stooges to do design work for $10 an hour by going on craigslist speaking in hip talk to the youngster computer gurus is when a so-called web designer tries to call their self a guru:

web guru marcus green

Not a web guru in the slightest

So, basically, if as a potential employer you go onto craigslist and poorly attempt to try to be hip and wise to the young persons slang (damn kids and their music), then you usually just come off as some out-of-touch creepy person trying to find their way through this crazy series of tubes called the internet.

And we don’t need to look far to see what happens when trying to be cool backfires:

joaquin phoenix trying to be cool backfires

When trying to be cool backfires

Why Guru? Where did it come from?

The word guru, originally taken from Sanskrit, means one who is generally regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others much like a teacher.

Okay, so just reading this general description of a guru, we can see how people started attaching this word to any and every thing that seems really difficult for layman’s:

Web Guru, Design Guru, Programming Guru, PHP Guru, CSS Guru, HTML Guru (really – is HTML that hard?), Flash Guru, ActionScript Guru, Java Guru, C++ Guru, Apache Guru, LAMP Guru (shudder), Linux Guru, Mac Guru, Windows Guru, Firefox Guru, and JavaScript Guru.

Ahem.. if we left any out, it’s probably because we are not Guru Gurus.

Here’s where the use and overuse of the word guru is wrong. Take a look at the longer explanation of the word guru [via Wikipedia]:

In its purest form this principle manifests on earth as a divine incarnation (saint), a person with supreme knowledge about God and all creation. Other forms of manifestation of this principle also include parents, school teachers, non-human objects (books) and even one’s own intellectual discipline.

and later:

Finding a true guru is often held to be a prerequisite for attaining self-realization.

So basically, when someone offers you a job or gig as a Web Guru for their company, they are really only using you. All they want is to attain self-realization and higher power. They’ve come to the wrong place.

What should you call web or design people?

Here is a general rule of thumb:

If you are looking for a PHP developer, ask for a PHP developer.

If you looking for an idiot who doesn’t know jack squat, ask for a PHP Guru.

On a scale of lameness, using the word guru is much more offensive than using any of the following:

  • Elite
  • Skilled
  • Talented
  • Experienced
  • Pro (used like: Pro at PHP)
  • Good
  • Genius
  • Master

Really, anything is acceptable to use in order to find a qualified, smart developer or designer. As a matter of fact, you may want to drop the term Elite off that list, unless you want people like this showing up to the interview:

hackers 1995 jonny lee miller angelina jolie

Actually, having these hackers show up would be cool